A couple of years ago Kim Dotcom was a fairly popular person in New Zealand, and many people had sympathy for what had happened to him. How did he go from being reasonably popular, to arguably the most hated person in New Zealand politics? This post seeks to explore what happened.
I joked to someone that if the day before the election, that if two US Black Hawks had landed at his mansion and US Navy Seals jumped out and bundled him into a the choppers to take him to the US, and John Key held a press conference to announce he had personally authorised it even though his chief legal adviser Steven Joyce said it was “pretty illegal”, National would have got a 10% boost and get 60%.
That is an exaggeration, but National MPs and candidates I spoke to have all said that the most common topic of conversation in the last week was Kim Dotcom, and how members of the public would come up to them unsolicited and speak of how badly they want him not just out of NZ politics, but out of New Zealand.
But it was not once like this, so let’s go back to the beginning. Up until the raid on his mansion, 99.9% of New Zealanders had probably never heard of Kim Dotcom, including the Prime Minister.
The raids were like something out of a movie, with SWAT type teams in helicopters landing. It was, in my opinion, an over-reaction by the NZ authorities to the situation. Yes Dotcom had access to weapons, but he wasn’t Al Capone. Dotcom got sympathy from a fair number of people for the nature of the raid.
It also transpired that the Police did not get the paperwork right with aspects of the raid, and even worse the GCSB did not properly understand his immigration status and the law, and should not have been assisting the Police. This increased the sympathy for Dotcom.
And it should be said that the charges against him in the US are not a clear cut case. My belief is that Dotcom designed his business model to push the law to its limits, and to make money off copyrighted works – but he may not have broken US law. He may have gone over the boundary, but he may not have. It is an arguable case either way. A case that should be heard in court.
My feelings on Dotcom a couple of years ago were relatively benign. I thought the media were overly sycophantic to him, and that he was masterful at promoting a good public image. He made himself the victim. But I have always thought the US charges may not get a conviction, and that the Police were heavy handed (and slightly incompetent) in their handling of the case. So I wasn’t a fan boy, but I said at the time that if he went to the US and won the court case, then I’d welcome him back in New Zealand.
He was a celebrity. He appeared in plays with Jacinda Ardern. He got invited to open the Frankin Road lights. He got the soft treatment in women’s magazines and Campbell Live.
So where did it go wrong? How did he go from being the plucky popular underdog to the most reviled person in NZ? There were a number of reasons.
He became a politician
If Dotcom had not invented a conspiracy theory that Barack Obama and Joe Biden got John Key to let Dotcom into NZ, so he could be arrested an extradited, he would have stayed relatively popular. Rather than merely treating the USG as the enemy, and exposing the tendency of NZ law enforcement to be overly sycophantic to them, he decided to make John Key his personal target. He wanted to destroy John Key, and set up a political party to do so. He went from being an Internet entrepreneur to a politician.
Now to be fair to Dotcom, this was a very logical thing to do. I commented that I’d do the same if I was in his shoes, awaiting an extradition hearing and decision. A country extradites wanted criminals, not politicians. Turning yourself into a politician was in theory a politically smart thing to do – but it depended on what type of politician – a principled politician wanting better policies for NZ, or one seen to be utterly self seeking?
He lost his friends and his staff
Almost everyone close to Dotcom turned on him. He spent up large on himself, and his party, while claiming poverty with his staff, suppliers and friends. New Zealanders are quite egalitarian, and don’t like a guy who flies everywhere in a helicopter leaving small NZ businesses out of pocket for tens of thousands.
The number of former friends and colleagues who now hate him is huge. He managed to burn off goodwill faster than a forest fire.
They leaked to (mainly Whale Oil) various people stories, tapes and videos of Dotcom’s various inappropriate happenings.
He spent too much money trying to destroy Key
If he had only put $500,000 or $1,000,000 into his pet party, there may not have been such a reaction. But $4.5 million looked obscene, especially as it was tied to utu – not a belief in a particular set of policies being good for NZ. Yes Colin Craig put in a lot of money also to his party, but Craig’s motives were seen as upfront – wanting to become an MP and push a particular brand of policies – not revenge.
The alliance with Mana looked unprincipled
Dotcom used to donate to John Banks, one of the most right wing politicians in New Zealand. Mana is the most left wing party in NZ. Apart from a hatred of John Key, Dotcom and Mana were seen to have almost no policy commonality. It looked to most NZers that Dotcom purchased a tame political party, and Mana sold out their principles. Harre and Harawira would once have condemned a foreign born multi-millionaire criminal, whose staff alleged paid them below the minimum wage. But they took his money, and said nothing.
Recall that the Internet Party was meant to appeal to potential National voters, who didn’t think the Government was Internet friendly enough. The alliance killed off that possibility, and in fact drove those voters back to National.
Some on the left saw it as a great way to get the Internet Party into Parliament, and help defeat John Key. The smarter Labour MPs realised it would stink to high heaven, and we saw Chris Hipkins and Phil Goff wisely denounce it in no uncertain terms. They can hold their heads up high – their judgement was spot on. Labour members and activists who routinely denounce Hipkins, Goff and others might want to consider that if they had listened to them at the time, then Labour may not have ended up with such a disastrous level of vote. Cunliffe was far far too slow to distance himself from the Internet Mana Alliance. He should have ruled them out entirely, just as Key did with Peters in 2008.
Laila was the wrong leader
Laila would be a great Deputy Leader of the Mana Party. She is a staunch advocate for workers (except those who work for Dotcom) and unions. But she is no Internet Party Leader.
The Internet community already had mixed feelings on an Internet Party. Some were wary of Dotcom’s motivations, but still thought it was an exciting opportunity to have a party dedicated to Internet issues. If Dotcom has announced someone with real credibility on Internet issues such as ex TUANZ head Paul Brislen, then there would have been a real buzz of excitement.
The announcement of Harre as Leader created a fury with many in the Internet community. They felt that their issues were being hijacked for a cause that had nothing to do with the Internet. Some of those most vehement against the Internet Party were people who may have been potential supporters of it.
There were many good people involved in the Internet Party, such as CEO Vikram Kumar, who have a genuine passion for the Internet. But the leader is all important. Laila made a genuine effort to come up to speed on Internet issues, but the Internet community felt insulted by the use of the Internet’s name for a party led by someone who is not an Internet native and didn’t even know the name of her own ISP.
The Fuck John Key video
This was not a selfie video by someone in the audience. Dotcom, or someone working for him, thought it would be a great idea to stick a video of Dotcom leading a group of fans chanting Fuck John Key. They turned it into a party advertisement, put an authorisation statement on it, and promoted it.
This was a key point, when people really started to get determined to not let him succeed. We’re a fairly polite country. Seeing the German guy facing extradition reveling in the crowd chanting obscenities at the country’s Prime Minister offended huge numbers of New Zealanders, including many swinging voters. Even worse, Harre wouldn’t apologise for it. For National, this video was gold. For Labour, they should have denounced it more strongly and used it as an opportunity to say they would have nothing to do with the Internet Mana Alliance.
The problem Dotcom had at this point is he was purely surrounded by people who hate John Key. Everyone in his circle would have loved the video. They would have had no idea how it played out with middle NZ – who decide elections.
Dotcom may or may not have been involved in the hacking, but he was boasting to people about it, his staff were boasting about it, he made a speech boasting of how he hacked the German PM, and of course many NZers thought he was involved. And most voters don’t like it. They think dirty politics is hacking, stealing and spying – not talking to bloggers..
The Moment of Truth
A lot has been written about this before, but there were six things which did Dotcom in.
- His two years of assurances he had proof beyond any doubt the PM had lied. He claimed this dozens of times. He even had the privilege of appearing face to face against the PM at a committee meeting, and taunting him with it to his face. He did not just claim he has suspicions – he was adamant he had proof.
- The timing of the event pissed people off. His brains trust thought having the week of the election would get the biggest impact. New Zealanders though have common sense and saw it as an attempt to make allegations, without the time to have them fully considered. he should have held it three months before the election – as should have Hager.
- The farcical forged e-mail. A retarded five year old could have made a more convincing forgery.
- The failure to talk about the e-mail at all, at an event he had spent over a year promoting as the moment when he would reveal the proof
- His maniacal laughing throughout the meeting, as if he was Dr Evil in Austen Powers. I suggested National use the footage as their campaign closing.
- The combination of a German and three Americans lecturing NZers on their politics in their heavy accents, shrieked foreigners trying to influence the NZ election result
This combined into the biggest farce and own goal I think I have seen in New Zealand politics.
When I wrote the next morning that it is time to get angry, I had more positive feedback on that post than any other I can recall. It got shared widely on social media, and I got scores of texts and phone calls. People were angry. Everywhere MPs went, they met angry people – angry at Dotcom. They wanted him out of politics, and were determined to vote to stop him having influence on the next Government. The CTU spent $200,000+ on trying to get union members our to vote (obviously for Labour/Greens/Mana). Dotcom’s Moment of Truth cost National not one cent and galvanised their supporters to the polling booths.
So it wasn’t one thing, but a series of bad calls that did Dotcom in. He may blame it on the last two weeks, but it was well over a year’s worth of misjudgements. If he had not invented his conspiracy theory involving John Key, and kept the focus on his ill treatment by sections of the NZ authorities – he would have maintained considerable public support and appeal. If his party had been a genuine Internet Party that sought more than the destruction of National at any cost, then it could have done quite well.
But he surrounded himself by people who hate John Key, and cut himself off from reality. He had no idea at all how the public of New Zealand were starting to regard him as a cancer that needed chemotherapy, rather than the plucky underdog he once was.
There’s a lesson in that for more than Dotcom.Tags: Internet Party, Kim Dotcom, Mana Party, Mana-Dotcom Alliance
The Herald reports:
John Key’s day got off to a tense start at Rotorua’s Central Mall as his walkabout was hijacked by angry Mana protestors.
Mr Key, Minister Steven Joyce and local MP Todd McClay had been taking photographs with locals for around half an hour before the group turned up, waving flags and becoming increasingly vocal.
Mr Key continued smiling as the black and red-clad Mana crowd surrounded the National Party entourage, but he ended up cutting the visit short as the atmosphere became increasingly unsettled.
He scuttled out of the mall with support from police, mall security and Diplomatic Protection Services.
Much of the protestors’ anger appeared to stem from the Tuhoe raids, which took place within the electorate.
“You’re on stolen land,” one woman yelled repeatedly.
For the records the raids took place under Helen Clark’s Government. It was the John Key Government that negotiated a historic settlement with Tuhoe which has seen some of their lands returned.
This is disgraceful. The same protesters are now in front of an advance polling place.
Also someone has pointed out to me that the land they were protesting on is in fact owned by the local Ngati Whakaue, so their geography is as crap as their history.Tags: Mana Party
3 News reports:
Internet Mana candidate Georgina Beyer has gone rogue and come out swinging at her party’s so-called visionary, Kim Dotcom.
She says he’s pulling the strings and is in politics for all the wrong reasons – including revenge.
Internet Mana’s the party that’s big on going big – big names, big productions, big personalities. But now it seems it’s got big problems too.
“Who is pulling the strings? Well, the big man himself,” says Ms Beyer.
Ms Beyer, a former Labour MP and New Zealand’s first transgender MP, is Mana’s candidate in the southern Maori seat of Te Tai Tonga.
She believes Dotcom is tearing her party apart.
“His reasons for becoming involved in New Zealand politics in the way he has is one of retribution against people who he feels have slighted him,” says Ms Beyer.
If Georgina Beyer can work it out, why can’t Hone Harawira or Laila Harre? Maybe it’s the $4 million he has put into the parties they claim to lead.
Beyer also said that she has started to see the leader (Harawira) forfeit some of his strong held beliefs for the sake of political expediency. This presumably is a reference to his u-turn on cannabis law.Tags: Georgina Beyer, Kim Dotcom, Mana Party
Winston Peters says NZ First will sit in Opposition rather than go into coalition with any “race based” party.
On his way into Parliament today, Peters repeated earlier comments that NZ First might sit on the cross benches rather than go into a coalition that undermined its principles, including its opposition to what it calls “Maori separatism”.
“We are not going to be in any combination that is race-based,” Peters said.
As usual Peters has left wriggle room. What does go into coalition with mean? For example National has no coalition partners at the moment – only supply and confidence partners. Secondly National is the party in a relationship with both ACT and Maori Party but ACT does not have a relationship with the Maori Party directly.
And what does sit on the cross benches mean? Does that mean still vote for the Government, vote against the Government or abstain on supply and confidence?
I imagine that any journalist that ask Peters those questions will get abused, called a moron, and told their position is absolutely clear.Tags: Mana Party, Maori Party, Winston First
The Herald reports:
Fomer Labour MP Georgina Beyer will stand for the Mana Party in Te Tai Tonga, saying she was doing so partly to atone for voting for the Foreshore and Seabed Act in 2004.
Ms Beyer was New Zealand’s first trans-sexual MP, serving under Labour from 1999 to 2007. She has struggled with kidney disease since last year but said her health was now steady and she was looking forward to a new challenge.
“When approached about the role, there were a few things to consider as there always are. Taking on this role is my way of making amends to Maori for voting for the foreshore and seabed bill which I was forced into and which totally broke me.”
No one was forced. Tariana showed integrity and left over it.
Beyer’s biggest achievement in politics was getting elected in the first place. I can’t recall any particular legislative or parliamentary achievements.
She won’t win Te Tai Tonga, but will be interesting to see how she goes.Tags: Georgina Beyer, Mana Party, Te Tai Tonga
Patrick Gower blogged:
The Hone-Dotcom-Laila political triangle is one of the dirtiest deals in New Zealand political history.
It is as dirty as National-Act in Epsom.
It is as dirty as the Key-Dunne deal in Ohariu.
Frankly, Lalia Harré made me feel sick today when she said “it’s time for New Zealanders to take back MMP”.
That’s because Laila Harré is wrecking MMP.
Hone Harawira is wrecking MMP.
And Kim Dotcom is wrecking MMP.
They are using Harawira’s seat and MMP’s “coat-tail” rule to get a back-door entry into Parliament.
It is a rort.
It is a grubby deal, made all the worse by the fact Harawira holds the Te Tai Tokerau seat – a Maori seat.
The Maori seats are special. They have a unique constitutional role which is to give the Tangata Whenua a place of their own in the New Zealand Parliament.
The Maori seats have been hard fought for.
Never, ever was it envisaged they would be used as a back-door entry for a German millionaire to get his proxy into Parliament.
His $4,000,000 proxy. We should refer to Laila as the four million dollar woman!
Gower is right to point out that this does weaken the case for retention of the Maori seats.
This will give those opposed to Maori seats ammunition to get rid of them.
A referendum on keeping MMP at the moment would be very interesting. Likewise on the Maori seats!
Sadly, the Internet Mana deal has diminished the mana of the Maori seats.
And even sadder too, this deal involves money.
Harawira wants Dotcom’s money.
Annette Sykes wants Dotcom’s money.
John Minto wants Dotcom’s money.
They are all willing to pervert the MMP system for the sake of money and it is a venal deal.
Don’t try and tell me Laila Harré cares deeply about the internet. She cares about getting into Parliament.
Her first press conference was about pretty much every leftwing issues there is, and almost silent on Internet issues except vague platitudes on the importance of the Internet – something that was dated even back in 1996 – when Harre entered Parliament initially.
I have a lot of respect for Harawira, Sykes and Minto. They have spent their lives fighting for what they believe in – for points of principle.
But that respect has been tarnished.
They are obsessed by power, obsessed by money and will trample over the rights of New Zealand voters to get it.
This Internet Mana deal is so wrong.
I feel sorry for all those who signed up to the Internet Party thinking it was about Internet issues. Instead it is merely a vehicle for Dotcom to fund the Mana Party into Parliament. They should be honest and cut out the middle man, and just have Dotcom give the money directly to Mana. Harre is not a candidate for the Internet Party. She is a candidate for Mana. I bet you there isn’t a single Mana Party policy she disagrees with, and she probably doesn’t even know what policies the Internet Party has.
There can have been fewer link-ups in New Zealand politics more cynical and crassly opportunistic than the one just formed between Hone Harawira’s Mana Party and the Internet Party, masterminded and financed by the internet developer Kim Dotcom. There is not the shadow of any principle involved in it.
Before he arrived in New Zealand, Kim Dotcom’s public image was of a high-living, luxury-loving party animal. For all his technical skills, there is not the slightest evidence that either now or in the past he has had a serious political thought in his head.
It is almost certain his only contact with the poor and dispossessed whose interests Harawira purports to represent would have been as employees. Indeed he may be a little startled to find that he is financing the far-left Laila Harre, the newly announced leader of the Internet Party.
As for the internet issues the Internet Party is supposedly concerned about, if Harawira and Mana had any particular interest in them before Kim Dotcom and his money came on the scene they kept very quiet about them.
Sames goes for the Internet Party Leader.
The ultimate composition of the next New Zealand government may wind up in the hands of a fringe collaboration bankrolled by a German fugitive from American justice. New Zealand politics should be better than that, surely.
The Dom Post editorial notes:
Harre’s arrival sharpens a dilemma for Labour. If its Te Tai Tokerau candidate Kelvin Davis defeats Harawira, it could cut Internet-Mana’s throat and waste a lot of votes for the Left bloc. The best strategy might be for Labour to go softly on Harawira without actually cutting an Epsom-style deal with him. This would require a U-turn, even if it is done in semi-secret.
I understand there is a huge shit fight in Labour over this. Kelvin Davis thinks that he can win the seat as Hone cuddling up to German multi-millionaires will go down like cold sick with many Te Tai Tokerau constituents. If Davis is allowed to run an aggressive campaign for the seat, he could win it.
But Cunliffe and McCarten don’t want to win it. They need Mana-Dotcom in Parliament. So they’ve decided that they will unofficially not campaign to win the seat. This makes Davis the sacrificial lamb who would love to the MP for Te Tai Tokerau, not a List MP.Tags: Dominion Post, editorials, Internet Party, Laila Harre, Mana Party, Patrick Gower, The Press
From the Internet MANA agreement:
To publicly and formally commit in writing that all candidates from both component parties, if elected to Parliament, will not support the formation or ongoing operation of any government that includes the National Party.
So let us be very clear. A vote for Internet MANA is a vote for a Labour-led Government.
Unless terminated as per section 25, this agreement will remain in force until at least six weeks after the 2014 General Election polling day.
Not really a marriage, more a Las Vegas style One Night Stand.Tags: Internet Party, Mana Party
The Dom Post editorial:
So the Maori radical and the German squillionaire have spawned their odd little party. No surprise there. The deal suits both partners. The Internet Party now has a chance of getting into Parliament whereas before it had none. And Mana wins a chance of finding more supporters among the geeks and the worshippers of Kim Dotcom.
Radicals like Mana’s John Minto reject Sue Bradford’s charge that they have sold out to the wealthy German. Bradford, staunch and true to her ideals as usual, has predictably stormed out. But, in a sense, Minto is right. He has not abandoned his support for progressive taxes and soaking the rich. He has not had to swallow a dead rat.
What is glossed over is how can you stand up for low paid workers, when you effectively merge with a party controlled by a guy who is accused of not even paying the minimum wage to his staff.
The only question now is: will this political oddity, bred on the wrong side of the bed, have any appeal to the voters? Its best hope is to win about 2 per cent of the party vote – double what Mana got last time – and bring the still-unnamed leader of the Internet Party in on the list. If Annette Sykes won Waiariki, that would be a big dollop of cream on the cake.
Actually if Sykes won Waiariki, then the Internet Mana Party would have one fewer List MP and the Internet Party leader may not get in.
Maybe the geeks and the radical Maori and Pakeha can persuade enough voters to back their odd little band. It’s also perfectly possible that Harawira will lose his seat to Labour and Sykes will fail in Waiariki. That would sink the Internet Party, which will certainly not pass the 5 per cent barrier by itself. The whole strange experiment could easily collapse.
I suspect Labour will quietly tell Kelvin Davis not too campaign too hard so Harawira retains his seat.Tags: Dominion Post, editorials, Internet Party, Mana Party
Mana and the Internet Party have confirmed they will contest this year’s election together in a party to be called Internet-Mana. …
The agreement will see a combined party registered to contest the election although the parties will remain separate outside Parliament.
The Internet-Mana Party will be led by Harawira who will also be number one on the combined party’s list, with the leader of the Internet Party at two. The next two spots will belong to Mana members.
The Internet Party leader will be announced on Thursday.
Here’s a question for online detectives.
The Internet Party major reason for existing is Internet issues (well actually to stop an extradition, but in theory Internet issues). S the first question is how often has the Mana Party or Hone Harawira (as a Mana MP) spoken on Internet issues before the merger was floated? Once or twice? Any policies? Any meetings?
A search of the Mana Party website shows they have only once mentioned the word “Internet” before the merger was floated.
Now likewise the Mana Party is primarily a Maori nationalistic party. So again how often has Kim Dotcom spoken on Maori or Treaty issues before the merger was floated?
The deal would see the Internet Party provide significant financial resources although both men refused to say how much, saying it was still being worked out.
So here’s how the voting will work. Assume Hone will win Te Tai Tokerau (which is not a given as his constituents may not be keen on being purchased by a guy who allegedly doesn’t even pay his staff minimum wages). So how it will work
- Below 0.4% – seat is an overhang
- 0.4 – 1.1% – 1 MP – Hone Harawira
- 1.2% – 1.9% – Internet Party leader gets in
- 2.0% to 2.7% – Annette Sykes gets in
- 2.8% – 3.5% – John Minto gets in
- 3.6% + – a second Internet Party MP
UPDATE: Whale reports that Sue Bradford has quit Mana saying:
“Sucking up to German millionaires is not my vision of the future”
Sue has shown she remains a person of principle.Tags: Internet Party, Mana Party
Came second in a pig-hunting comp in Northland over the weekend – my prize-pack included a 'Mana' party flag made in China.
— Duncan Garner (@Garner_Live) May 26, 2014
Mana is becoming a truly foreign party. Their merchandise is made in China, and around now we’re going to find out they’ve effectively sold out some places on their party list in exchange for a huge amount of money from our favourite German fraudster.Tags: Internet Party, Mana Party
Kim Dotcom took part in “racist day” and referred to his American crew as “my little n……” – giving them gollywogs while recording his album Good Times.
The Mana Party has said that Dotcom may help it win the Maori seat of Waiariki at the next election. However, the Internet Party founder failed to show on Saturday at a media opportunity in Rotorua where Annette Sykes was confirmed as Mana’s Waiariki candidate.
Christchurch musician Aaron Tokona, who played guitar on Dotcom’s album, said German-born Kim Schmitz, also known as Kim Tim Jim Vestor or Kimble, took part in “racist day” during the recording of his album last year at Auckland’s Roundhead Studios.
“On racist day you were allowed to speak freely, make racist jokes and it was OK apparently,” Tokona said yesterday.
“He could be called an evil Nazi and given the Hitler salute and he would call people ‘his little n……’.”
Now just imagine that Kim Dotcom was not offering the Mana Party millions of dollars. Just imagine that say Mr Dotcom was still a supporter of John Banks. What do you think the reaction of the Mana Party (and Labour and Greens) would be to revelations he used the nigger word.Tags: Kim Dotcom, Mana Party
The Herald reports:
Protesters egged Prime Minister John Key’s ministerial BMW as it collected him from a state housing development in Napier this afternoon.
Mr Key was unhurt in the incident but one man was later arrested for obstruction.
The incident happened about midday in Maraenui as Mr Key concluded a visit to a new state housing development.
Earlier, about 10 protesters, some clutching Mana Party banners, greeted the prime minister and challenged him about child poverty and enabling synthetic cannabis to be sold.
They shouted: “One, two, three, four, stop the war on the poor,” and “Maraenui under attack, stand up, fight back”.
So what awful thing was the PM doing in Maraenui that Mana supporters think is an attack on the poor? Stuff has details:
Key appeared slightly miffed that protesters heckled him as he officially opened a new housing development aimed at improving the city’s poorest suburb.
Despite the crowds chanting ”Stop the war on the poor”, Key was impressed with the units saying they were nothing like the state house he grew up in, he told residents.
”The protesters, interestingly enough are protesting for us to do the very thing we’re doing. So they probably should have come in and congratulated us instead of yelled at us.”
Five families have already moved in to the Maraenui development which consists of seven two-bedroom single-storey units, centred around a central communal courtyard.
Crete Pinkham felt “lucky” to be living to be living in a warm, dry home.
”There’s no mould! I lived in mould all these years. We’d clean it up and it would grow back.”
So Mana is against low income families being moved into new warm, dry homes. No surprise I guess, as they are now aligned with the multi-millionairre who allegedly pays below minimum wage to his staff.
Over the last six years, the Government had been working to improve the run-down Housing New Zealand stock, Key said.
Large, uninsulated properties were being knocked down for smaller, warmer units.
”Cold damp homes are no place for New Zealanders. We want to put them in the six star properties we have here.”
Key admitted there was still a lot of work to do, including attracting more social housing providers into the market.
What an awful uncaring Government that is at war with the poor. Thank God we have Hone and Kim to lead us to a better place.Tags: Mana Party
In a statement this evening, Harawira confirmed talks with Dotcom in central Auckland over the weekend to discuss possibilities “for a relationship between the Mana movement and the Internet Party”.
He said the Mana executive had extended an invitation to Dotcom to address its AGM on Saturday,.
Dotcom had accepted the invitation in order to “talk to and understand the views of Mana members” Harawira said.
Oh this is too funny to be true. Hone can’t wait to sell out.
So will any Mana member have the courage to get up and berate Dotcom over the low wages he pays his staff (allegedly below minimum wage).
Will any Mana member say how disgraceful a look it is for him to fly into Huka Lodge in a helicopter to relax for the weekend, while scores of struggling Kiwi businesses had been waiting over two years to be paid by him?
Or will they just ask him how much money they can have for their election campaign?Tags: Kim Dotcom, Mana Party
3 News reports:
Internet millionaire and alleged cyber-pirate Kim Dotcom has admitted owning one of the rarest pieces of Nazi memorabilia in existence.
On the eve of the launch of his Internet Party, Dotcom has confirmed he purchased one of the first copies of Adolf Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, signed by the man who went on to establish the Third Reich.
It is one thing to read Mein Kampf. It is widely available. But to buy a rare first edition personally signed by Hitler is incredibly suspect, and very bad taste when done by someone of German nationality. To do a comparison, could you imagine a Cambodian buying an signed copy of the memoirs of Pol Pot?
“Let me make absolutely clear – I’m not buying into the Nazi ideology,” says Dotcom. “I’m totally against what the Nazis did. I did buy a cigar holder off Churchill and a pen off Stalin.”
There’s a big difference between a pen and the book which was used at motivation for genocide of around six million Jews.
Whale Oil has more details:
On May 21 2011 Alex Mardikian sat down for breakfast with Kim Dotcom in Spain. …
Dotcom asked what Mardikian thought about the fact he now owned a book written by “the greatest German who has ever lived”.
This is an on the record statement from Mr Mardikian. I am sure it is denied, but then you have to judge the motives of the two parties. What reason would Mardikian have to invent such a quote? Not hard to think of the reason you would deny it.
But there is more:
Further investigations by WOBH have revealed that not only does Kim Dotcom own a signed and autographed copy of Mein Kampf, one of the rarest copies on the market, but he also possesses other Nazi memorabilia.
One item is a Nazi flag, that until recently was displayed in the cellar of his mansion at Coatesville.
This presumably can be substantiated also. It either was or was displayed.
The flag was given to him on his birthday in 2011 by one of his guests at his birthday party.
At the time of the birthday and the gift Kim Dotcom exclaimed to all in attendance that this was “the best present he had ever been given”.
He profusely thanked the guest repeating over and over how happy he was to have received the flag. Again his closest confidantes remonstrated with Dotcom over the flag and he shrugged off the criticism by claiming it was all a big joke.
There were lots of guests at that party I assume, so again should be easy to verify if this is correct or not.
WOBH can confirm that the flag is still in the possession of Dotcom because in the days after the raids two staff were tidying up ahead of the arrival of John Campbell and his cameras. They were going to tour the mansion for a soft piece on the aftermath of the raid.
Those two staff thought, rightly, that the flag wouldn’t look good on television and so folded it up and put it away for safe keeping in some boxes also stored in the cellar.
One former staff member spoken to by WOBH (who wishes to remain anonymous due to ongoing threats from Dotcom) in our ongoing investigations of the REAL secret life of Kim Dotcom has told us that regularly, at dinner, Nazi salutes would be made and Nazi chants like “Heil Hitler” and “Sieg Heil” were made, especially if the guests were mainly German.
The former staff member is unnamed, and again it is he said vs he said but what is the chance that both Mr Mardikian and the former staff member are both making it up, especially when combined with the fact that Dotcom did buy a signed copy of Mein Kampf and did keep and display a Nazi flag given to him?
Will this be enough to scare Hone Hawarira off the Dotcom Party? I don’t think so. The only demand Mana have made of Dotcom is that he agree to vote to get rid of National if they get MPs in Parliament. Of course the aim of the party is to get rid of National, as they want a sycophantic Government to replace them that will decline Dotcom’s extradition if the courts find the extradition order is valid. So I am sure the Dotcom Party will in turn soon declare they are committed to getting rid of National, and then we’ll see how much control Hone has over Mana and can he get them to agree to an effective merger.
UPDATE: Tim Fookes at Newstalk ZB writes:
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to own war memorabilia , nothing at all, a lot of people would have war medals and the likes.
But in my opinion, there’s something quite despicable about wanting to own items belonging to the enemy, and in this case one of the most revolting excuses for a human being ever to walk on this earth, Adolf Hitler.
There’s something abhorrent about having a desire to own something as offensive to so many people, as Mein Kampf, and not only own it, but get a signed copy.
It speaks volumes about Kim Dotcom, or let’s quit calling him that, let’s call him by his real name Kim Schmitz.
Because he is German and appears in stark contrast to most Germans I’ve ever met who are ashamed beyond words about the behaviour of Hitler and his supporter. …
It may not just be that, there are reports circulating that he owns a Nazi flag and other memorabilia too, which poses the prospect that he could be a Nazi sympathiser.
With the launch today of the Internet Party, I’d hope New Zealanders will turn their back on Kim Dotcom in our droves and tell him ‘we don’t want you here, you are offensive’.
I hope that will happen, sadly though, I think he’ll get naive supporters who thinks what he’s doing is shaking the system, sticking the finger to the government, there will be that fringe element of support he’ll get.
You may say I’m overreacting, but I cannot believe he has the nerve to sit there smirking away as he admits he owns that book.
The apologists for Dotcom on this one will end up embarrassed, as more comes out.Tags: Adolf Hitler, Kim Dotcom, Mana Party
Jevan Goulter is Hone Harawira’s press secretary. He has facebooked:
Guys, MANA DOTCOM!
Ok so we would be helping a fat white rich prick with a bunch of money, but it would obviously help MANA to! I’m not picking a side, just wanna be clear! The parties would not merge, we would share a list, and guaranteed MANA would have the top spots to start! If we did it, the difference could be 2 or 3 MANA MPs, and we remain our own party! It’s not all doom and gloom ! Could be the difference of having say John Minto and Te Hamua Shane Nikora in the House! Didn’t mention Annette Sykes cause she will already be there Doesn’t sound that bad when you look at it like that aye?
His commenters are less keen:
- I have a lot of respect for Hone and the Mana Party. That would vanish instantly if this loony idea came to fruition. It’s also not really keeping within the spirit of MMP.
- Mana will come off as looking very desperate. Sad really.
- You have got to be kidding!
- It sounds bad to me.
- Dont do it… please hes another john keys but worse… hmble your guys self and partner up wif maori you go to dotcom im out sori bt ur party would b his bitch seen it to many times.. better to lose honourably than to win disgracefully
Will Hone listen to the activists or his chief blogging advisor?Tags: Jevan Goulter, Kim Dotcom, Mana Party
Jonathan Milne writes in the HoS:
Internet mogul Kim Dotcom claims he has signed up one sitting MP to join his new party before the election and is talking to three more – a poaching raid unprecedented in New Zealand politics.
He refuses to disclose the identity of the MP, saying it will be revealed once the Internet Party is registered and has chosen all its candidates, probably in June.
His revelation came in an exclusive interview with the Herald on Sunday yesterday.
Dotcom said he was also in talks with Mana Party leader Hone Harawira to unite their two parties under one umbrella, enabling the Internet Party to ride into Parliament on the coat-tails of the Te Tai Tokerau electorate MP.
The two leaders and their party bosses, Vikram Kumar and Gerard Hehir, met on February 28 at a house on Auckland’s North Shore.
The Mana Party executive will this week consider a merger proposal. Mana would bring one or two electorates, the Internet Party would bring a more broadly-based party vote and $1 million-plus in campaign funding.
This is almost hilarious. Dotcom is a multi-millionaire who used to donate to John Banks, who allegedly pays his staff below the minimum wage, and has refused to pay dozens of struggling small businesses the money owed to them for work on his mansion. He would normally be the antithesis of everything the Mana Party claims to stand for. But then he effectively offers them a million dollars and rather than picket him for being an abusive employer (look at how many staff have quit under bad circumstances), they’re going to merge with him!!!
The lure of a million dollars campaign fund is too much to say no to, and all they have to do in return is to make sure that a future Government rules out extraditing Dotcom if a NZ court finds he should be extradited.Tags: Kim Dotcom, Mana Party
Kate Chapman at Stuff reports:
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira wants to offer Maori first-time homebuyers no-deposit, low-interest loans but admits he doesn’t know how much the programme would cost.
So do I have this right?
If you have a Maori great great grand parent you can get a no deposit, low-interest loan, but if you don’t you are not eligible?
And of course it is not costed. That would require someone to actually do some work, rather than just open the mouth.
Housing Minister Nick Smith said the Mana policy would cost more than $3 billion a year and put New Zealand “seriously in the red”.
The Mana policy is outlined here:
- Only Maori first home owners would be able to apply
- There would be no deposit
- Interest rates would be no higher than the rates government pays on money it borrows
- Applicants can either build new or buy an existing property
- Applicants will be able to negotiate mortgage arrangements that suit their circumstances
Tags: housing, Mana Party
The report of the Labour/Greens/NZ First/Mana inquiry into manufacturing is here.
The best comment in the report was on page 24:
Manufacturing Strategy: submitters made it plain that there was little interest on their part in further “talkfests” about the future of manufacturing in New Zealand, or about the need for a “Manufacturing Strategy”, requiring further extended discussion
Which is ironic, as that is what the entire inquiry has been – a massive talkfest.
What is most hilarious is the major recommendations for macro-economic policy:
- a fairer and less volatile exchange rate through reforms to monetary policy
- refocusing capital investment into the productive economy, rather than housing speculation;
- and lowering structural costs in the economy, such as electricity prices
How amazing. By total coincidence the major macro-economic recommendations happen to be the pre-existing policy of Labour et al. They didn’t even have to think up any new policies.Tags: Greens, Labour, Mana Party, manufacturing, Winston First
I’ve blogged at Curiablog the results of the latest Te Karere Digipoll.
I read a column over the weekend about how the Maori Party was basically dead and they should accept Hone Harawira’s generous offer to let him become leader and merge with the Mana Party. With that in mind it is worth looking at what the results for each party.
33.5% party vote, with party vote on the Maori roll up 3.5% (from last poll in January 2012) and on the general roll (of Maori voters) down 13.1%.
On the electorate vote, Labour are 8.9% below what they got in the 2011 election.
27.5% party vote, with party vote on the Maori roll up 2.7% (from last poll in January 2012) and on the general roll (of Maori voters) up 7.7%.
On the electorate vote, Maori Party are 4.8% above what they got in the 2011 election.
5.7% party vote, with party vote on the Maori roll down 5.3% (from last poll in January 2012) and on the general roll (of Maori voters) up 0.2%.
On the electorate vote, Maori Party are 1.2% below what they got in the 2011 election.
They asked those Maori voters who said they would party vote Labour if they could name the Labour Party Leader. Only 34.7% could name David Shearer as Leader.
Of the 34.7% who could name him, they asked if they thought he was providing good leadership on Maori issues. Only 28.0% agreed.
Labour has gained some support on the party vote from Maori on the Maori roll, but on the electorate vote they are polling well below what they got even in 2011. Also they have had a drop off in support from Maori on the general roll.
The Maori Party has increased party vote support with Maori on both the general and Maori rolls, and are polling higher in the electorate vote than they got in 2011.
The Mana Party has almost halved its party vote support from Maori on the Maori roll, and has also dropped in electorate vote support from 2011.
Two elements of caution. Maori voters tend to be harder to poll than non-Maori, so there is a greater chance of sampling errors which can impact accuracy. Also tensions around the Maori Party leadership occurred during the polling period and may not be fully reflected.
However even with those cautionary notes, I would say that those writing off the Maori Party are incredibly premature. The poll shows they have retained and grown support, while Labour and Mana have stagnated or dropped.Tags: Labour, Mana Party, Maori, Maori Party, Polls
The Herald reports:
The Mana Party is investigating the case of a former regional branch chairman who admitted to having sex with a teenage boy in return for cash, cigarettes, clothing and a mobile phone top-up.
Nicholas Kayne Nitro appeared in the Christchurch District Court last month on a charge of receiving commercial sexual services from a person aged 16.
Party sources last night confirmed that Nicholas Nitro was the same person as Nikora Nitro, who is still listed on the Mana Party website as Christchurch branch chairman.
Contacted by the Weekend Herald last night, a spokesman said the party had been unaware of Nitro’s offending and would start an investigation immediately.
He said Nitro had not been an office holder in the party since the end of last year’s election campaign.
All parties have activists who get in trouble with the law from time to time. Little one can do to stop that. However once it is known they are facing charges, it is usual to have them stand down. As Mr Nitro is still listed on the Mana website, it is hard to know whether or not he was stood down.Tags: Mana Party, Nicholas Nitro
The NZ Herald reports:
Prime Minister John Key and fellow politicians were verbally abused by protesters during ugly scenes at Waitangi this morning.
Protester Wi Popata heckled prominent Maori MPs at Te Tii Marae, calling Dr Pita Sharples, Te Ururoa Flavell and Hekia Parata “John Key’s niggers.”
Wi Popata is Hone Harawira’s nephew, and was convicted of assaulting John Key in 2009.Tags: Mana Party, Waitangi Day, Wi Popata
Harawira retained his seat of Te Tai Tokerau, but only received 43% of the candidate vote, which is far from an overwhelming mandate. Hone will be pleased that Kelvin Davis is out of Parliament, as a Davis candidacy in 2014 on the back of three years in the shadow cabinet could have been formidable.
Mana had hopes for Sykes in Waiariki but Te Uroroa Flavell retained his seat with a majority twice as large as Hone’s in te Tai Tokerau.
On the party vote, Mana needed around 1.2% to gain a second seat, but got 1.0%. 5,000 more party votes would have been enough.
If you look at the seven Maori seats, Mana got 13% of the party vote and 21% of the electorate votes. This suggests a significant failure to attract widespread support from Maoridom. 71% of their total party vote support was from the seven Maori seats, and 29% from the 63 general seats which is an average 92 votes per seat.
Being a sole MP in Parliament can be very lonely. You get one primary question during question time every month, and your press releases are competing with 120 others.
Setting up a new party motivates supporters and activists, as does the election. The challenge now is relevance. What will Mana argue that Labour and the Greens will not? The re-election of a National-led Government pretty much settles the foreshore and seabed issue.
The pending retirements of Sharples and Turia may provide opportunities for Mana with those seats, but one would have to think Labour are more likely to win them, based on the 2011 results.Tags: Mana Party
Tags: Mana Party, Maori Party
RELEASE ‘MARAE DIGIPOLL’
10-11am this Sunday, 2nd October on TV
What impact has the arrival of the Mana Party had on Maori voters?
That’s one of the questions raised in a new Digipoll to be released on TV ONE’s Marae Investigates this Sunday.
With the General Election eight weeks away, the results provide a fascinating insight into how support for the Maori and Labour parties has been affected by the Mana Party.
Marae Investigates also has an exclusive interview with the whanau of Maori Wallaby, Quade Cooper.
Quade’s Brisbane based mum, Ruhia Jones gives a candid view of her son’s rise to fame and her unconditional support for him in the face of Kiwi animosity.
Yvette pointed this out:
Sharples or Brash “You once again bring the Maori people’s aspirations into contempt and ridicule. Your views are not only inaccurate and ill-founded, but are totally out of tune with middle New Zealand’s ideals and aspirations for our country.”
Harawira on Brash “Your attempts to boost Act in the polls by riding on the xenophobic fears of Joe Bloggs in the street will not work this time round.”
I thought that was a great contrast. The Maori Party believe the “average” New Zealander shares their aspirations for Maori, while the Mana Party believes the average New Zealander is racist.
I think that difference in world view goes to the heart of why Hone left the Maori Party.Tags: Mana Party, Maori Party